Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023382, Thu, 11 Oct 2012 10:29:27 -0400

THOUGHT: VN's ghosts . . . and PNIN
It could be that the answer to many ghost-related riddles in Nabokov
(including PF) is in "Pnin":
"He did not believe in an autocratic God. He did believe, dimly, in a
democracy of ghosts.
The souls of the dead, perhaps, formed committees, and these, in
continuous session, attended to the destinies of the quick."

It is the interaction and struggle between ghosts, each
protecting his or her own "quick", much like Greek gods, that can
explain the incosistencies.
As for the tradition of ghosts in the Russian literature, it's
huge but it seems that Nabokov's treatment of the theme was
influenced more by spiritualistic and theosophical
teachings immensely popular in Russia at the time of Nabokov's youth.

Tatiana Ponomareva

Susan Elizabeth Sweeney
Co„Editor, NABOKV„L

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